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Is this out of order

(182 Posts)
LadyRussell Wed 20-Jun-18 19:01:44

Colleague who is same level manager as me asked our joint boss if someone I line manage could do a task for her (small admin task not strictly in her role but it’s quite a flexible role).

Line manager (micro manages everything) agreed it and my colleague ran it past me and told me after boss had ok’d it.

Employee then emails me today cc’ing in my manager saying X has asked me to do this is this in my job role? Line managrt then enails her back CC’ing in me explaining she had already ok’d it.

AIBU to think if a manager (sane level as her own) has asked her to do a task (if she had the time if not don’t worry) she should be then checking with me and certainly not cc’ing in my line manager?

Deshasafraisy Wed 20-Jun-18 19:04:04


Orangedaisy Wed 20-Jun-18 19:04:36

I wouldn’t let yourself get wound up about this tbh. Employee probably didn’t need to cc your manager but by doing so they have made themself look bad, not you.

LordEmsworth Wed 20-Jun-18 19:06:23

What an odd question. I would undoubtedly let my boss know if someone else had asked me to do something, he'd probably be ok but it's manners. Equally your same-level colleague would have been more polite to let you know. Unless there's a back story then I don't understand the issue?

LadyRussell Wed 20-Jun-18 19:12:47

Same level colleague asked me first.

Yes ok to ask me perhaps but to CC my line manager in - felt like she was checking up on same level colleague.

She is new and beginning to develop a bit of form and I can’t figure out what it is.

Whynotnowbaby Wed 20-Jun-18 19:15:03

Agree with pps, this seems like an incredible non issue. Just confirm it has been agreed and move on, your workplace must be incredibly uneventful if this is worth posting on a forum about!

Pengggwn Wed 20-Jun-18 19:16:01

Sounds utterly reasonable to me. Why shouldn't she check that someone who is not her manager and has asked her to do stuff, has the authority to ask her to do it?

Whynotnowbaby Wed 20-Jun-18 19:16:35

Don’t you think she might just want to make sure she’s told the right person and wasn’t sure which one it should be?

LimeCheesecaker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:19:46

Yeah that’s a bit rude, but possibly a misstep.

In most workplaces this would be a subtle sign that she is undermining your authority.

Stamp it out. Email her back with:

‘Hi Laura,

I noticed you CC manager name into your last email, I presume this was in error. In future if you have any queries, send them to me as I am your line manager. If it needs escalating to manager I will make that call.


It’s about basic respect. In CCing your manager she’s basically indicating she is going over your head. Either she’s made a mistake and will be glad of the correction, or she’s doing it on purpose and it needs correcting.

Don’t just feel annoyed about it, manage your direct report.

halfwitpicker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:20:06

Sounds fine to me


LimeCheesecaker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:21:06

PS people who don’t manage/work in a structured environment regarding hierarchies won’t see this as a big deal: it’s not huge, but you’ve correctly identified that it is problematic and should feel confident in addressing it.

halfwitpicker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:21:14

If you are pissed off I wouldn't say it in an email i'd just be passive aggressive about it

Pengggwn Wed 20-Jun-18 19:23:56


That is utterly unnecessary and would impact on their working relationship. She is new, and will realise the subtle stuff as she goes. No need to get the sledgehammer out.

LimeCheesecaker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:24:14

Here are some slightly relevant questions/answers with useful scripts smile

Most managers don’t want their direct report’s direct report Ccing them into everything, there’s a chain of command for a reason (or every single problem in the company would be clogging up the CEO’s inbox!).

LimeCheesecaker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:28:45


How was that email unnecessary or sledgehammery? It’s simple and direct. I suspect anyone capable of getting and keeping a job is going to be able to read that, understand how to approach things going forward and put it into action fine.

The employee will not pick this stuff up down the line unless she is actually told by someone that it’s the wrong thing to do. That’s how people learn, and why wait for her to do it several more times until she learns by osmosis when it can be handled right away?

Plus it looks strange to OP’s manager for her to allow this to go on without addressing it anyway and will risk her manager wondering why OP can’t educate her report on such a simple issue (Better OP to talk to her than someone higher up).

It’s a very simple thing and if she’s new she’ll be open to learning I’m sure.

Also OP did add that there’s something odd she’s picking up on about the direct report she can’t put her finger on: my advice would be the same either way but if OP is sensing some insubordination that needs addressing.

LimeCheesecaker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:30:57

If I started a new job and was erroneously copying people into emails in a disrespectful way I would want to be told ASAP so I could stop it. Who wouldn’t?

(I have actually experienced this as an employee btw, when fairly new to a more hierarchical structured workplace. My line manager said roughly what I’ve advised OP to send, I understood, stopped doing it and all was well. I don’t see what’s sledgehammer about that at all?)

Pengggwn Wed 20-Jun-18 19:34:07


Well, people differ, but I would think anyone sending me that email (especially given the passive aggressive bit about it being a "mistake") was insecure and unfriendly as a manager, and it would make me think less of them. By all means, mention it, but the email is far too much.

LadyRussell Wed 20-Jun-18 19:34:39


Yeah this is exactly it - she also took an idea I had asked her to implement to a Senior Manager and took the credit.

It’s sort of cheeky fucker behaviour and undermining me with a smile.

Bombardier25966 Wed 20-Jun-18 19:40:02

I noticed you CC manager name into your last email, I presume this was in error. In future if you have any queries, send them to me as I am your line manager. If it needs escalating to manager I will make that call.

Passive aggressive. It doesn't set a good tone at all.

I can see the woman's confusion here, there had been three of you involved in allocating the task, so she could be unsure who she's reporting to on this particular issue.

Bombardier25966 Wed 20-Jun-18 19:41:31

she also took an idea I had asked her to implement to a Senior Manager and took the credit.

That's not on at all. Have you addressed it with her, and the manager?

LadyRussell Wed 20-Jun-18 19:41:53

I wasn’t involved in allocating her the task and neither was my manager - to employees knowledge.

Pengggwn Wed 20-Jun-18 19:44:16

Given you weren't involved in giving her the task, why would she not check with you? And given the person who did give her the task is your peer, why would she think it strange to inform your (plural) manager that she is being managed on an informal basis by someone who isn't her manager?

LadyRussell Wed 20-Jun-18 19:44:40

Well I was sat next to her at the meeting (when she took credit for the idea) and senior manager and others heaped praise on her and so gave her the opportunity to say she couldn’t possibly take credit but she sat there smiling so I interjected with “obviously I asked X to do this as this is what I implemented at ..”

I was annoyed though.

LimeCheesecaker Wed 20-Jun-18 19:44:46

Okay, the ‘I presume it was a mistake’ was supposed to be kind, a way of letting the employee save face if she wanted to.

But it works just as well without that. None of the rest of it is passive aggressive, it’s simple and direct.

LadyRussell Wed 20-Jun-18 19:46:20

Also mine and colleagues line manager is very erm “direct” (shitty and bollocks people in front of everyone) and employee knows this and I felt like she was trying to drop my colleague in it.

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